Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Symbol Background

It's been a while since I finalized the design for Symbol, which you might remember looks something like this:

A few weeks ago, I also finished putting together the background that the symbol is going to sit on top of.

Those fabrics are a set that my sister picked out as a Christmas gift a few years ago, and when I saw them I immediately knew I wanted to applique something big and red over them. Except, now that everything is ready, I'm not as sure about the "red" part anymore. I haven't actually started placeing fabrics up against it yet -- that will be how the decision really gets made, of course -- but I've tinkered around on the computer a little bit, wondering how various colors would look....

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Michael5000 Gets Press

I grew up in a very small town, and I like to enter quilts in the fall shows there and in a few of the neighboring communities. My mom still lives there, so it's kind of fun to have our stuff showing together.

I put Labyrinth in the hometown guild show this year, and ended up with a mention in the local newspaper -- a first, as far as I can remember, for anything to do with quilting. The article gamely tried to be enthusiastic and descriptive, but was written (I suspect) by a non-quilter for a general audience, and so has lots of charmingly meaningless sentences like "Vibrant reds, greens, oranges and blues competed for attention alongside more subuded pinks and pastel tones" and "One visitor... was overheard saying that the exhibition was like being in an art gallery."

My entry was, I'm proud to say, selected for a list of quilts that were singled out for special mention. Most of the quilts on this short list got a one-word description, such as "bedazzling." Labyrinth was described as "mind-wandering." I've never heard "mind-wandering" used as an adjective before, but what the heck. It's praise! I think! I'll take it!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

QS#3: Done

It's not exactly a finish to write home about, but it's the first finish of the 2008-09 Season, so here I am blogging about it.

This here is QuiltStorm #3. (Last seen here.)

QS#3, the fourth (!) StormQuilt to be completed, is batted with an old mattress pad and backed with some sort of stretchy, slightly slippery synthetic fabric. Using this unfamiliar material was what gave my quilting on this project such a, shall we say, singular aspect. I think what happened was that when I pinned the backing fabric out taut, its elasticity let me stretch it out quite a bit. Then, after the pinning, it snapped back to its smaller relaxed state. This means that the area of the face is quite a bit greater than the area of the back, which in turn means extreme puffiness on the quilt front.

It was difficult to get the quilting right under these circumstances -- and in fact, I didn't. It is without question the worst technical quilting I've ever done. But I learned a lot from dealing with the challenge, which is what QuiltStorm is all about. And, in a kind of sloppy, naive sort of way, I actually kind of like how it looks. I'm not crazy about how distorted the overall shape of the blanket is, but the crazy puffiness is kind of fun.

Other projects are coming right along! See ya soon!